Apple Music lossless streaming

Hi all,

i’m looking for a way to stream Apple Music Lossless to my device.
Apparently, Chromecast and Airplay 2 are exclusively sending AAC256.

Only solution i found, would be a Apple TV 4k, connected via HDMI and controlled over an iPhone/iPad.

Any better solutions?

Best regards and many thanks!


Apple TV 4K does not support Apple Music Lossless HD. It’s only 48kHz. (Maybe in futur)
I have tested :
-1 MacBook 13’ 2015, the audio output is Toslink ready and connected with optical cable to optical Input : do not forget to setup Output in Audio & Midi setup.
-1 iPad with iOS 14+, a camera USB adaptor (Camera USb adaptor+ USB to toslink (Reiyin adaptor and connected with optical cable to optical Input : do not forget to setup quality in Setup/Music.

This work very well.


Hi and thanks for your reply.

You’re right. Apple TV 4k is limited to lossless 24bit/48khz…
But that would be fine for me. I don’t necessarily need High Res Lossless, i just want lossless. :slight_smile:

And i’m looking for a convenient solution, that don’t need to be touched and can be controlled via Apple Music App on iPhone or iPad.
From what i heard, this would be possibly with the Apple TV…?

Best regards

Airplay 2 is limited to lossless 24bit/48khz too, so most of time I use Airplay. This is easy to use for every people in my house.
Sometime when I want to listen very full HD Res audio music, I plug the iPad or the Macbook.


Yes, i’m using Airplay 2 and Chromecast too. And it is by far my most preferred way.
Sadly, lossless is not working with either or them. From a technical standpoint, 24bit/48khz would be possible for both of them. But Apple Music is exclusively streaming AAC256 via Airplay2 or Chromecast.

Thus, the question for alternatives. :slight_smile:

I’m sorry but Apple use ALAC not AAC 256 for Airplay.
ALAC is lossless.16/44khz. ALAC can support more but Apple does not use more for now.


And I don’t know any alternative.

I hate to prove you wrong. :wink:

When streaming Apple Music via Airplay 2, Apple is always transmitting AAC256 encoded files (only exception are ripped, locally stored files)…
Even when the iPhone/iPad is stating “Lossless / HighResLossless” (badge) - in the background it just uses the compressed file.

You can check for yourself.

  1. Play a lossless Song in Apple Music and cast it to your Arcam via Airplay 2
  2. Open the Arcam Webclient (IP-Adress in Browser) and download the system logs.
  3. Extract and navigate to /tmp/log/cast_shell
  4. Look for “Initialize codec:” and “Estimated audio bitrate”.
    It will be “aac” and “~256 kbps”

I know ALAC is possibly via Airplay 2 and i do not know, why Apple is not using it. But they just don’t. Quite misleading to be honest. Especially, because they don’t hide the “lossless” badge in Apple Music when casting via Airplay (they do on Android with Chromecast).

Here is another proof from the Naim Stuff:

Sorry for the long post, but perhaps it is of interest for you or someone else.

If lossless will work in the hopefully near future, i’m going to update this post. :slight_smile:

Best regards!

Mummm really interesting.
Feel free to prove I’m wrong : I’m learning something.

In fact, it’s not so clear. Disccus Apple
And the best part :

I will continue to investigate later.

Thx for infos

Yes, it is really something…^^

Read your sources too. So, if one uses Airplay 1 “system wide”, the content would be transferred as ALAC 16bit/44khz (standard lossless).

But i guess there is no way to force/downgrade my Arcam and iPhone to Airplay 1…

I’m going to use Amazon Music for a while. Here lossless is working via Chromecast (tested via LogFile) and even High-Res on my Desktop PC with iFi-Dac. Both of which was not possible with Apple Music.

I’m going to check for progress every few weeks. Perhaps, a change is going to come with iOS16 - we’ll see.

Please let me know, if you find any relevant news on this topic. :slight_smile:

I have been using AppleTv for years now. I must say the Apple Music integration between iOS and tvOS is phenomenal. Once I got my SA30 set up over Arc I was very impressed. Arc has been rock solid for me. I definitely encourage anyone thinking about this set up to try it. Yes, it’s just lossless, but we all have been happy with lossless since CDs made their first appearance.

Hi Themonarch,

thanks for your reply.
Yes, in the meantime i also switched to Apple TV 4K for lossless streaming.
My only problem was, that i did not want the TV running for music playback… I solved this issue with a HDMI-Audio-Extractor. So for me it’s: Apple TV 4K controlled via iPhone or iPad → Hdmi-Audio-Extractor → Toslink to Arcam Amp.
The HDMI-Extractor also has a passthrough HDMI, so i can still use the TV, if i like.

Best regards,

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